Bertelsmann announced Monday that ceo Hartmut Ostrowski is leaving his position after more than three years for “personal reasons” and will join the company’s supervisory board as chairman. Thomas Rabe, who has been cfo since 2006, will replace him as of January 1, 2012. Ostrowski first joined Bertelsmann in 1982 and has worked for the company in various functions, including the chief executive position at Arvato and chairman of Bertelsmann’s executive board.
Various news sources reported the news in advance of Bertelsmann’s statement, with Reuters deeming Ostrowski’s departure a “surprise” because his contract was not due to expire until December 2012. That Rabe was vying for some kind of ceo job, however, was an “open secret”, and the two men were allegedly “known to be at odds partly due to their different styles and personalities but company sources have said the two had put differences to rest.”
In a statement supervisory board chairman Gunter Thielen said: “Bertelsmann owes Hartmut Ostrowski a great debt of gratitude. He led the company in difficult times. I look forward to continuing to work with him on the Supervisory Board. The timing of the changeover ensures that the passing of the baton to Thomas Rabe will be handled smoothly.” Rabe’s successor as cfo will be named at a later date.
Harpercollins chief digital officer Charlie Redmayne has been named ceo of Pottermore, for which he will return to London full-time. Pottermore chairman Neil Blair said in a statement that Redmayne is “a formidable talent in both the digital and publishing spheres”, and in combination with his “entrepreneurial spirit” made him the ideal candidate for the job. As previously reported, Pottermore delayed its site launch, as well as the release of Harry Potter digital editions, from this fall to sometime in 2012.
Redmayne first joined HarperCollins UK in 2008 as group digital director, and was promoted to chief digital officer in 2009, then a newly-created position. “I’m very sad to be leaving HarperCollins – it is a terrific company and I have loved my time within it,” Redmayne said in a statement. “HarperCollins has made great strides in the digital world over the last few years – because it is well led and has great people. These efforts will continue at pace and I look forward to watching their future success.” In a separate statement Redmayne called Pottermore “a hugely exciting project which will take one of the greatest brands in literature into a digital future.”
Ceo Brian Murray added: “Charlie has been a tremendous leader in the digital space during one of the most challenging and interesting times in book publishing. HarperCollins is in a terrific position because of Charlie’s efforts and accomplishments across all divisions around the world. We were fortunate to have such a talented digital executive for the last three and a half years, and I understand that we couldn’t expect him to live on both sides of the Atlantic forever.” Redmayne’s last day at HarperCollins is November 4, and he will start at Pottermore on November 7. A replacement search is underway with evp operations and technology Larry Nevins set to oversee the group until a permanent replacement is found.
Georgia Garrett is leaving AP Watt after 11 years with the agency to join Rogers, Coleridge and White. Joint managing director of AP Watt Derek Johns told the Bookseller: “I can confirm that Georgia is leaving APW today to join RCW. We would like to thank Georgia for 11 years of valuable service, and wish her well in the future.” Garrett represents Zadie Smith, Philip Hensher, and Joe Dunthorne, among others.
Lucy Abrahams has been appointed as literary scout for Forlaget Klim in Denmark.
At Maverick Outsource Services, Mariam Hasan has been named sales and publishing associate, responsible for a new North American sales representation agreement for Woodhead Publishing’s ebook platform, Woodhead Publishing Online. She was most recently vp, Canada for Emerald. In addition, Mark Furneaux has joined as senior associate for sales and business development, EMEA and International. Previously he was managing director, european operations at CSA.
Maverick also announced new UK partnerships with Morgan Healey Recruitment and i-Publishing Consultants to further extend its range of solutions for publisher clients. Maverick will also represent Charleston Advisor in all territories except the US.